Are You Addicted to Sugar?

Have you ever wondered if your sweet tooth isn’t a little too sweet? Does it sometimes seem like it’s easier for other people to regulate how much sugar they eat — but you just can’t seem to stop once you’ve started?

Have you ever Googled “sugar addiction” and silently nodded as you scrolled through dozens of headlines and blog posts comparing sugar to cocaine and other highly addictive substances?

If so, there is good news: Sugar is not addictive the way other substances are addictive. And research suggests that attitudes and beliefs about sugar get in the way of most people’s ability to eat it in moderation.

Let it be a liberating thought. Your feelings about sugar are normal, and the first step to changing any behavior is believing that you can. And you really can.

Green Mountain at Fox Run is our residential program exclusively for women who struggle with overeating and weight. Join a supportive community of other women, just like you, guided by eating behavior specialists who can help you find the roots of your food struggles and teach you how to move past them.

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Why Do I Struggle With Sweets?

Eating sweet foods activates the pleasure centers in the brain. It makes us feel good — just like fatty foods, exercise, laughter, etc. (However, it does not initiate long-term changes in the neural circuitry of the brain, which is how addictive substances get a vice grip on people.)

In our 40+ years of experience at Green Mountain, we have discovered that most women who struggle with feelings of sugar addiction, do so for one of three reasons:

  1. We create self-fulfilling prophecies. When you tell yourself that you are “addicted” to something, you relinquish control. As long as you don’t believe something can change, it usually won’t.
  2. We mask the real motivation for eating. As long as you choose to believe you are “addicted” to sugar, you will miss opportunities to step back and examine the patterns that really lead to your sweets cravings.
  3. We develop all-or-nothing mindsets, which lead to all-or-nothing behaviors. The solution for addiction is complete abstinence, but this is almost impossible with food. Eventually we give in, and usually end up overeating. We call this the restrict-binge cycle and it’s difficult to crack without first changing your mindset.

Do you see the patterns? They all begin with how you think about yourself and your relationship with sugar. Mindfulness, then, is at the root of real, lasting freedom.

3 Ways to Overcoming a Sugar “Addiction”

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If you struggle with feelings of sugar addiction, know that you are not a victim. You are a strong, capable woman who has just never been taught how to mindfully enjoy food. Here are three ways that changing the way you think can change the way you eat:

  1. Understand why you are eating.
  2. Pay attention to how you eat.
  3. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.

For more details on each of those strategies, and a reminder of those three thought processes that need to change, download our free guide, The Truth About Sugar Addiction & What You Can Do About It. (Tip: It looks great on refrigerators.)


Take Your Life Back

Changing any behavior is hard, but you can do it. You may feel like you’ve tried dozens of times, and it may be easier to believe you’re “addicted,” but you can overcome feelings of sugar addiction.

When you’re ready to escape from the endless cycle of ineffective diets, and find lasting freedom from feelings of sugar addiction, contact us to learn more about the specialized programs by Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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GMFR was a transformative experience for me. The staff, culture, setting, programs and –yes– the food were all excellent and together created a thoughtful, informed, nurturing atmosphere in which to reshape how I think about food, nourishment, and my own well-being. I feel like what I really lost were so many of the burdens and delusions about weight, my body and what it means to be healthy, that I’d been carrying around for years. I’m so grateful for the experience. It’s simple but radical, and I highly recommend it.

– Sarah, San Francisco 2016

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